Tue, Apr

May 2011

May 2011

I sell a service, a printing and installation service. When I pitch my business to a prospective new client I promise that my company will deliver, exactly what I promise exactly when they ask for it.
If my new customer ordered 200m2 of print for delivery on Friday, imagine the phone call when I deliver 100m2, the balance of which will be ready ‘some time’ in the future? Imagine how antagonised the customer might be when he looks at the print that I have delivered and discovers its all the wrong colour, has lines running through it and none of the panels line up?
What might his response be when I turn around to him and say “nobody else has a problem with it” or “I’ve never heard of this problem before”.

Recognise any of these comebacks? These are just some of a collection I have been listening to from equipment companies over the years. It amazes me that I let them get away with it. It’s got to the point that whenever a salesmen tells me a printer will do, say, 100m2/hr I assume it will only do 50m2/hr. It’s the same with finishing: “This machine will trim 50m2 an hour Mr. Mole.” Yeah, 50m2 of butter.

And Rip’s! How is it that they can be released with so many bugs? I once bought a Rip (from a well known manufacturer) that couldn’t tile a job. The salesmen said it could. In practice the Rip even thought it could, but try as we might, we could not get two panels out of it that would match up. I sent it back. In the two weeks I had it the bill for reprints and aborted installs clocked £20k.

And my personal pet hate, why can’t suppliers just put the cost of the equipment they are selling in the advert? Granted, some now do but most don’t. Instead I have to make an appointment to see the ‘area sales manager’ who then gives me the lengthy pitch, still doesn’t give me a cost until he gets back to the office and emails it to me! I feel real transparency on pricing and capability is desperately needed.

Comments please to industrymole@imagereportsmag.co.uk

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